Five Midland Christian employees arrested
UPDATE: The City of Midland has confirmed a student was arrested but did not comment further due to the investigation involving a juvenile.
MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - According to court documents, five administrators at Midland Christian School were arrested and charged with failing to report an incident with the intent to conceal neglect or abuse.
The arrests included Superintendent Jared Lee, Principal of the Secondary School Dana Ellis, Vice Principal of the Secondary School Matthew Counts, Athletic Director Greg McClendon, and head baseball coach Barry Russell.
In a statement to CBS7 regarding the arrests, Midland Christian said:
“Earlier today, Midland Police Department arrested five members of Midland Christian School’s administration. While we value and desire transparency, we must protect the privacy of our students and maintain the best educational environment possible under these difficult circumstances. Under advice from legal counsel, this will be our only statement on the matter at this time.
The five administrators were notified of an alleged hazing incident involving some of our student athletes that resulted in school disciplinary action. Subsequently, school leadership was contacted by MPD regarding the alleged incident. Our school officials have and will continue to, cooperate with law enforcement and their investigation. Currently, we have qualified acting administrators to supervise the campus, oversee student activities, support faculty, and maintain the day-to-day operation of the school.
The physical, spiritual, and emotional safety of our students is the most important responsibility we bear as educators and one we take seriously. We appreciate the support and prayers of our Midland Christian parents, faculty, staff, and students as we continue leading, building, and equipping for Christ. - Jason Stockstill, President, Board of Trustees for Midland Christian School”
According to the arrest affidavits for all five faculty members, on or about Jan. 20, a student-athlete was sexually assaulted with a baseball bat in a locker room.
The court documents report the coaches and administrators knew about the sexual assault and were instructed to investigate on their own without contacting law enforcement.
On Jan. 28, Midland Police were made aware of a possible sexual assault at Midland Christian School. MPD interviewed the victim of the assault on Feb. 11.
According to the court documents, MPD investigators went to the school on Feb. 11 to talk to the Superintendent who was out of the office. Instead, MPD spoke with the principal of the secondary school who told them she was aware an incident was documented but could not provide any documents to police.
The following Monday, Feb. 14, Superintendent Lee called investigators and, according to the affidavit, refused to answer any questions and requested police obtain a search warrant.
Later that day, MPD was able to search Midland Christian School with a warrant and found documentation of the assault that was created on Feb. 11 or Feb. 12.
In the affidavit, MPD also reports finding emails between the coaches, administrators, and initial complaints that allege the faculty members refused to report the assault.
Today, arrest warrants were issued for all five coaches and administrators.
The investigation is ongoing. CBS7 will update this story as more information is available.
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